With the execution of an unidentified 23-year-old woman in Ardabil Prison on Monday, the Iranian regime has executed at least 113 women during the presidency of Hassan Rouhani, a supposed moderate.
This comes just over a month after the execution of Zeinab Khodamoradi in Sanandaj Central Prison on December 27 and follows on from at least 27 executions in January.
The Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has noted that most women in Iran are executed for murder, but this is actually another example of how the regime fails women because they are mostly victims of domestic abuse who kill in defence of themselves or their children because they have no legal recourse to end an abusive marriage.
This is backed up by political prisoner Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee who wrote in 2019 that these women, “had murdered their husbands —instantly or based on a pre-meditated plan—after years of being humiliated, insulted, battered and even tortured by them and because of being deprived of their right to divorce” and that if they were allowed to divorce, they may never have committed murder.
In other countries, they would be granted leniency based on their circumstances, but not in Iran where murder is not separated by degrees. This, of course, does not even touch upon those executed for crimes that are not capital offences under international law, like drug offences, or for non-crimes, like political activism.
The Committee wrote: “The Iranian regime open-handedly uses the death penalty as a form of punishment. In many cases, the religious and ethnic minorities, political dissidents, and women are targets of the death penalty in a discriminatory manner.”
Number one in executions
Iran is the world leader in executions per capita, as well as executions of women and juvenile offenders. Over 4,300 people have been executed since Rouhani took power in 2013, with the number of overall executions and those of women actually believed much higher because of the fact that most executions take place in secret without witnesses.
The NCRI Women’s Committee has produced a list of the 113 executed women, using information from Iran’s state-run media, human rights activists, and reliable sources inside the country to fill in as much information as possible about those women.
The Iranian Resistance has called in their 10-point plan for a Free Iran for the death penalty to be abolished and for women to have equal rights in many areas, including divorce.